For Immediate Release
April 2, 2008
Food Relief Hampered for Famine Victims in Western Burma
Ottawa, Canada: Chin Human Rights Organization is concerned that food aid being delivered to famine affected communities in Southern Chin State has been seized by local authorities.
CHRO has learnt that more than 300 bags of rice donated by Roman Catholic Church as relief aid for famine victims were seized by local authorities in Paletwa. A mandatory purchasing order was imposed on residents of Paletwa town by the authorities to buy the seized rice at an overpriced rate. Another 150 bags of rice donated for famine victims by the Church of the Province of Myanmar were also seized and sold for profits by the same local authorities during the month of February.
“People are struggling for their next meal. The seizure of the food aid has left most of us in a completely destitute situation. Only about 40 households in our village have enough food for the next few weeks,” says a local villager.
Chin Human Rights Organization is calling on the State Peace and Development Council to allow unhindered humanitarian relief effort in Chin State and to create a conducive environment for delivery of basic needs for communities suffering starvation and famine in Chin State.
“We again stress the importance of quick action to respond to the dire humanitarian situation in Chin State. Timely response could really prevent a disaster. And unfortunately, the military regime is not interested in solving this problem,” says Salai Bawi Lian Mang, Executive Director of Chin Human Rights Organization.
Chin Human Rights Organization reiterates its call on the international community, especially the World Food Program and individual governments concerned with Burma to help address the already deteriorating humanitarian situations in Western Burma.
For more information please contact:
Salai Bawi Lian Mang (Executive Director)
Victor Biak Lian (Member of Board of Directors)
Amy Alexander (Regional Advocacy and Campaign Officer)